Agribusiness Market and Support Activity (AMARTA) Project: Cocoa Farmer Support Training Program
The Agribusiness Market and Support Activity (AMARTA) Project worked with 10 agribusiness sectors to improve quality and increase productivity throughout each of the value chains. The AMARTA Sulawesi Kakao Alliance (ASKA) provided training to farmers in Sulawesi with the aim of improving cocoa productivity and quality. In Bali, AMARTA Sustaindonesia Kakao (SKA) assisted Big Tree Farms to develop high value fermented cocoa based on organic production.
Sept 2006 - Sept 2009
- ASKA/Sulawesi – training support for 820 farmer groups aimed at increasing productivity, improve quality, and facilitate better market access vis-à-vis implementation of Good Agricultural Practices which include pest and disease management, improved post-harvest handling practices and understanding of cocoa quality for export.
- SKA/Bali - 2,000 smallholder cocoa farmers participating in a pilot project with Big Tree Farms to produce high value fermented cocoa beans focusing on improved on- and off-farm practices.
- 20,683 farmers trained in Sulawesi. Farmers representing 820 farmer groups across West, South, and Southeast Sulawesi have completed the first training program.
- 1,000 farmers trained in Tabanan, Bali. A further 1,000 farmers are completing training in Jembrana District (see program focus above).
- Training films for Sulawesi and Bali. Two film series covering a range of topics both on and off-farm were completed. A third series is nearing completion assisting farmers with cocoa garden evaluation, decision making, rehabilitation and replanting techniques and will be important to cocoa farmers now facing the challenge of rehabilitation and/or replanting to improve productivity.
- 111 solar dryers built in Sulawesi. 6 dryers were built at buying stations as demonstrations, followed by 55 with ASKA farmer groups, plus a total of 50 solar dryers were built independently by farmers. Drying and storage are important to ensuring that the cocoa meets quality standards for moisture content.
- Poster series distributed to farmers and stakeholders. A variety of on-farm and off-farm topics are covered in a set of 16 posters distributed to ASKA and SKA buying stations, and to 900 ASKA and SKA farmer groups as well as other cocoa stakeholders.
- Long term data tracking across 11 months for 333 farmers from Sulawesi show: i) 20-30% higher price per kg for farmers who sell to exporters (as per local traders); ii) 2008 versus 2007 productivity has increased for 47% of farmers being tracked; iii) 57% and 32% of farmers are meeting export standards for bean count and moisture content respectively; and iv) 82% of farmers compared with 4% initially have sold to an exporter.